Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Has there ever been a switch pitcher in Major League Baseball?

Greg Harris
Yes. Greg Harris, in 1995, threw one inning of shutout ball switch pitching for the Montreal Expos against the Cincinnati Reds. Harris faced a total of four hitters -- two as a righty, and two as a lefty.
Read More about Greg Harris

The last pitcher to use both hands in a pro baseball game had been Bert Campaneris, who did so in 1962 while playing for Daytona Beach in the Florida State League. In 1965, Campaneris played every position in a nine inning game for the Kansas City A's. On the mound, "Campy" pitched ambidextrously, throwing lefty to left-handers, and switched against right-handers.(baseballlibrary.com)

Pat Venditte, in 2010, switch pitched in spring training for the New York Yankees in relief of CC Sabathia. Venditte is currently a minor league pitcher with the Oakland Athletics  organization, with an invitation to spring training in 2015.

Yankees' ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte Debuts 



Bert Campaneris Plays All Nine Positions in Game (Sept. 8, 1965)
"Campaneris’ most challenging assignments came in the final two innings. When he took the mound in the eighth he pitched as well as could be expected. On the mound, he pitched ambidextrously, throwing lefty to left-handers, and switched against right-handers. Campy allowed two walks, one hit and one run. Campaneris moved behind the plate in the ninth." (source: offbeathistory.com)


MLB Ambidextrous Throwers
The four players listed by Major League Baseball as being able to throw both left & right handed are: Tony Mullane (1881-1894), George Wheeler (1896-1899), Moxie Manuel (1905-1908) & Greg Harris (1981-1995).

Recent ambidextrous throwers in the pros: 
Yu Darvish, a tall right-handed starting pitcher with the Texas Rangers, throws left-handed in practice to maintain muscle balance.

Jeff Schwarz, former right-handed pitcher with the Chicago White Sox, started throwing lefty when he was 13 years old.



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